Blog Feature

Big Data | Corridor Studies | Traffic

The Waze Effect: 4 Steps for Cities to Fight Back

August 28, 2018

Thanks to navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps, GPS-enabled smartphones are changing the way we drive. It’s much easier to avoid a traffic jam or to find the closest gas station than it used to be. However, as many urban and transportation planners know, these apps have negative consequences.

When navigation apps route drivers through local roads in residential areas, they introduce congestion, air pollution, noise, and safety issues to streets that are designed for much low traffic volumes. The so-called “Waze Effect” is wreaking havoc on residential neighborhoods in all types of cities, especially during rush hour. It’s not only major metropolises such as Los Angeles, CA and Boston, MA that are impacted, but also smaller communities such as Fremont, CA and Takoma Park, MD.

So, what can transportation planners do about it? One way is to use the very data that smartphone apps create to your advantage. In this article, I’ll share four steps for cities to fight the Waze Effect with Big Data.

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Blog Feature

Big Data | Case Studies | Corridor Studies | Traffic | Transportation

Planning Louisiana’s Bridges: 3 Big Data Case Studies

July 12, 2018

Big Data has become a flashy buzzword in the transportation industry: It’s a hot topic at conferences, and everyone is talking about the potential of new location data resources. But just talking about Big Data doesn’t accomplish anything. Here at StreetLight Data, we think it’s time to go beyond the buzzword. That’s why we tapped transportation engineers Thomas Montz and Luis Alvergue of Arcadis in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to share their experience using Big Data for transportation planning on our blog.

In the article that follows, Thomas and Luis will explain how they used StreetLight InSight® for three different bridge-focused projects in Louisiana. (New to StreetLight Data? StreetLight InSight is our platform for transforming locational Big Data from mobile devices into actionable transportation analytics.)

- The StreetLight Data Editorial Team

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Blog Feature

Big Data | public transit | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation

Our New Multimodal Measurement Initiative

June 6, 2018

We are rapidly moving into a world where one person can easily use six different modes of transportation in a single day. Mobility behavior is becoming more complex. As a result, transportation planners need to be able to analyze past behavior, measure current changes, and forecast future demand for more modes of travel than their predecessors.

Every type of travel counts, from bike shares to the "gig economy" created by transportation network providers and delivery apps. Unfortunately, not every mode is being counted. It’s simply not possible with conventional transportation data collection methods.

That's why StreetLight Data launched our new Multimodal Measurement InitiativeOur goal is to launch a new suite of Metrics. These Metrics will measure brand-new modes, older modes of transport that have always been difficult to measure, and how all of these modes interact. Do you want to participate?

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Blog Feature

Big Data | public transit | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation

Transportation Policies and Equity: A Bay Area Regional Ballot Initiative

June 3, 2018

StreetLight Data is located in San Francisco CA, so many of our staff are voting next week on a Regional Ballot Initiative with considerable equity implications. It’s called Regional Measure 3. In short, it would increase tolls on all eight Bay Area bridges that are currently tolled. Thus, by the end of the six years, each toll will be $3 more expensive than it is now. The would raise an estimated $4.5B during the six years, all of which would go to fund a set of 35 highway and transit projects across the Bay Area. If you want more details, here’s an article from our local National Public radio station, KQED: “10 Things to Know: Regional Measure 3, the Proposed Bay Area Bridge Toll Increase”.

I used StreetLight InSight® (that’s our on-demand transportation analytics platform) to get a better understanding of the equity implications of the toll increase.  (Note: StreetLight Data does not currently endorse any political candidates or initiatives.)

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Blog Feature

Big Data | Corridor Studies | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation | Uncategorized

Travel Planning for Memorial Day – The Data-Driven Way

May 24, 2018
Memorial Day has a rich history of honoring soldiers who sacrificed their lives in service to their country. However, it’s also a travel-filled holiday weekend that signals the beginning of summer for many Americans. These days, it seems like most Memorial Day conversations revolve around traffic, congestion, and busy airports. Just try searching for "Memorial Day" on Google. You’ll see that about half of the search results are about holiday-related transportation challenges. This Memorial Day, I was determined to commemorate the holiday and spend memorable time with my family and friends –  not stress about my travel plans. I didn’t want the experience of getting from point A to point B to distract me from the holiday's real meaning.

Like the avid planner I am, there were several questions swirling around my head while thinking about this trip. How bad will the traffic be when I head to the airport? When should I leave my house so I don’t miss my flight? Luckily, I work at StreetLight Data, and I can use our StreetLight InSight® platform to answer transportation questions quickly and easily. In this blog post, I’ll show you how I did it. (StreetLight InSight is our easy-to-use web application for turning Big Data from mobile devices into actionable transportation analytics.)

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Blog Feature

Big Data | Corridor Studies | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation

Traffic Diagnostics: A Congestion Busting and Travel Demand Management Tool

May 21, 2018

StreetLight Data's new Traffic Diagnostics tool is officially available for public agencies and engineering firms across the continental US. It's a game-changing new feature in StreetLight InSight®, our on-demand platform for turning Big Data from mobile devices into actionable transportation analytics. Watch our latest video blog from StreetLight Data's Laura Schewel to learn how Traffic Diagnostics can help you bust congestion with data-driven travel demand management solutions.

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autonomous vehicles | Big Data | Events | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation

StreetLight Data Powers UberFlux for Aerial Urban Transportation

May 11, 2018

At this week’s Uber Elevate Summit in LA, I saw the power of using StreetLight Data’s transportation analytics for a brand-new mobility challenge: Optimizing the roll out of new infrastructure for aerial urban transport. Uber hosted the conference to “explore the exciting future of urban aviation” (read: flying shuttles). While lots of the press focused on the new models of Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing Vehicles (eVTOLs), I know readers of this blog will be even more excited by the use of data-driven planning to design their infrastructure!

What is UberFlux and How Did it Use StreetLight InSight?

At the opening address, and again at a deep dive panel, Uber showed off updates to the UberFlux tool. This tool pulls in data from several sources, including StreetLight InSight, our on-demand platform for turning Big Data into transportation analytics. UberFlux is used, among other things, to find optimal solutions to a complex problem: Where are the best places to site “nodes” for Uber’s upcoming UberAIR program? It is a stellar example of putting Big Data to work to drive transportation forward (should I say “fly” transportation forward?).

Jon Petersen, Head of Data Science at Uber Elevate, said “StreetLight InSight and the StreetLight team play an important part to our modeling efforts and remain wonderful partners for the Elevate team.”

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Blog Feature

Big Data | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation

Visualizing Big Data for Transportation: Our Latest Updates

This week, we updated StreetLight InSight®, our on-demand platform for turning Big Data from mobile devices into actionable transportation analytics – just like we do every month. The improvement we’re most excited about for May is our interactive visualization builder. In a nutshell, the interactive visualization tool is a more powerful tool for StreetLight InSight users to analyze transportation behavior within our platform. It’s also a major step forward towards our goal of helping transportation professionals put Big Data to work for planning, modeling and engineering.

Let’s face it: it’s always easier and faster to understand trends with a heatmap or a chart than with a giant spreadsheet. It’s even better when you can dynamically manipulate the data behind those charts and heatmaps to see how behavior changes in different conditions. (But don’t worry, long time users, the spreadsheets are not going away!)

 

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Blog Feature

Big Data | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation

Commutes Across America – Where are the Longest Trips to Work? Part 2

April 1, 2018

After a long day at work, you probably want to get home as soon as possible. But, on most days, that’s easier said than done.

Today, commutes across America are longer than ever – and they’re increasing. The average American commutes 52 minutes to work each day, for a total of 4 hours and 20 minutes per week. Think of all the productive ways you could be spending that time, rather than sitting in your car or crammed in a crowded subway.

In our last blog about commutes, we explored where some of the longest commutes to work are in America. Now, let’s learn more about why areas have long commutes and how Big Data can be used by transportation planners to help mitigate this problem

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Blog Feature

Big Data | Smart Cities | Traffic | Transportation

Commutes Across America – Where are the Longest Trips to Work? Part 1

March 13, 2018

Are you tired of the long drive to and from work? This is probably the most tiresome, frustrating part of your day. And, you’re not alone. Everyone on the roadway probably feels the same!

To better understand commutes across America, StreetLight Data has compiled a some information on where commutes are the longest. Explore this article to find out why it’s important to understand commute travel patterns, and to discover the top five states and cities with the longest commutes.
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